Godfrey Sports is a family-run brand that designs and manufactures performance kits. They were founded in 1978 in the UK and have grown considerably since its start, even supplying the GB & England team in 1988. They provide high quality, performance-oriented kits for a range of sports including rowing, cycling and football.
Whilst they do provide long lasting and high-quality items, they fail consistently on the sustainability of their business. The majority of the materials that they use are synthetic and from fossil fuel derived sources. Additionally, they don’t include information on their packaging or what they do to make the business more sustainable. However, they do have a program that allows items previously brought from them to be returned and repaired.
The type of material used is dependent on the sport and style of the item. I've listed all the materials they use below.
GS EVO, GS TEK, GS Lite, GS Nylo, GS Chrono, GS Monic, GS Nero, GS Breeze, GS Tempo, GS Thunder, GS AeroGrip, GC Fleece, GC Esholt, GC Rib, GC Conti, GC Ponti TEK, Classic Poly Cotton Lycra, Classic Nylon Lycra, GX Aura, GX splash, GX hydrashell and GX thermostretch.
The best material that they use is GC Conti, this is made from 100% cotton meaning it's a natural fibre. Other good materials that they use are GC-Rib, which is 93% cotton and 7% elastane. Unfortunately, the majority of the materials that they used are made from polyester, elastane, nylon and lycra. These materials are synthetic fibres which all have a negative environmental impact as they are derived from fossil fuels. However, fossil fuel derived fabrics are very common in clothing designed for sports.
Overall, it may be necessary to use these synthetic materials for performance wear in order to make them long lasting and durable (fit for purpose). Nonetheless, it would be good to see recycled versions of textiles used.
Whilst there was a section on their environmental commitments, there was a significant lack of information on how they actually planned to be sustainable, leading to a reduction in their score. On the website, they said “We aim to keep our carbon footprint as small as we can throughout the manufacturing process.” However, they failed to provide evidence on how they would do this & what they do to keep the carbon footprint low.
Additionally, they don't provide information on the type of packaging they use to send their garments. For parcels under 2kg they send it using Royal Mail. For heavier packages they send it using a courier, UK Nightspeed. Royal mail is a good courier to use as they are making steps to becoming more sustainable, using 100% renewable energy across their estates and introducing 3,000 electric vehicles. Unlike Royal mail, UK Nightspeed has limited information on its sustainability, so it’s difficult to comment on what they are doing to positively impact the environment.
One notable positive is that they offer repairs. Items that need repair within a month are repaired for free and items older than a month are repaired for a cost. This is a positive program as it helps contribute to a circular economy, where things are mended and reused instead of thrown away. However, I think it would be beneficial to have a longer time frame for free repair as only a month is a very short amount of time.
The kits are designed and manufactured on site, in Nottingham. Again, there is little information provided. However, as they are a UK based brand that produces their products in the UK, I can assume they manufacture their goods according to UK regulations. This means that they would comply with regulations for safe working conditions and minimum wage laws. Whilst this is a positive, there still needs to be a lot more transparency for their design and production process in order to determine how sustainable their manufacturing is.